June 5, 2011 - Happy Birthday, Dennis Gabor

Holy Holograms! The inventor of holography—which is a 3-D imaging technique—was born on this day in 1900 in Hungary. He served in Hungary's military during World War I and studied electrical engineering in universities in his homeland and also in Germany. But as Gabor entered his thirties in the 1930s, it began to be clear that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A Jew, he fled from the Nazis in 1933—all the way to Britain.

There Gabor researched oscilloscopes, communication theory, physical optics, and television. He developed holography in 1947 using mercury-vapor lamps—but now that he was in the right place, he was still at the wrong time! His holograms were difficult to see, and holography didn't become practical until lasers were invented, thirteen years later, in 1960. Suddenly, a bunch of uses for holography developed—security devices, art and graphics, medical and engineering uses, training and testing uses, and even information storage—and Gabor finally achieved recognition for his invention, including the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics!
Some companies and governmental
agencies use holograms so that ID and
bank cards are more difficult to copy.

Learn about holography!

Holoworld has a section for kids. 

In addition to books about holograms, some books have holographic images in their illustrations. Here are a few... 

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